Dietary fructooligosaccharides prevent osteopenia after gastrectomy in rats.
Postgastrectomy osteopenia is observed generally in humans. Fructooligosaccharides increase the absorption of calcium from the large intestine of healthy rats. Thus, we have examined whether they stimulate calcium absorption and prevent osteopenia in rats following total gastrectomy. Rats were subjected to either a sham surgical operation or Billoth II gastrectomy. Seven rats from each surgical treatment group were fed a control diet, and another seven rats of each treatment group were fed a diet containing fructooligosaccharides (75 g/kg diet) for 4 wk. For 5 d each week, feces were collected, and the calcium and phosphorus contents were measured for calculation of the absorption of these minerals. At the end of the experiment, the rats were killed and bones were collected. The net calcium absorption, calcium content and bone mineral density of the femur and tibia in gastrectomized rats fed the control diet were significantly less than those in sham-operated rats fed control diet. The net calcium absorption in rats fed the fructooligosaccharides diet was greater than that in rats fed control diet. Moreover, dietary fructooligosaccharides prevented the decrease in the calcium content and bone mineral density in gastrectomized rats. Dietary fructooligosaccharides enhanced calcium absorption and prevented the changes indicative of postgastrectomy osteopenia such as decreases in bone calcium content and bone mineral density in gastrectomized rats.